Dai-Ōji: The Ōji Paper Company and the Politics of Pulp in Asia
David Fedman, Assistant Professor modern Japanese history at the University of California, Irvine
Moderated by: Paul Kreitman, Assistant Professor of Japanese History, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
David Fedman’s recent monograph, Seed of Control: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea (University of Washington Press, 2020) explores how Japanese colonial rule in Korea (1905–1945) ushered in natural resource management programs that profoundly altered access to and ownership of the peninsula’s extensive mountains and forests. Under the banner of “forest love,” the colonial government set out to restructure the rhythms and routines of agrarian life, targeting everything from home heating to food preparation. Timber industrialists, meanwhile, channeled Korea’s forest resources into supply chains that grew in tandem with Japan’s imperial sphere. These mechanisms of resource control were only fortified after 1937, when the peninsula and its forests were mobilized for total war.
Organized by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.